THURSDAY, May 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) — From 2004 to 2017, there was a decrease in the proportion of pediatric patients with a minor injury prescribed opioids, according to research released as part of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Virtual Education Experience.

Jigar S. Gandhi, M.D., Pharm.D., from Cooper University Health Care in Camden, New Jersey, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of data from a national Pediatric Health Information System database comprising 42 pediatric hospitals to identify visits for pediatric fractures and dislocations from 2004 to 2017. Data were included for 120,002 patients with minor injuries who were nonsurgically managed and discharged home on the same day.

The researchers found that 54.3 percent of patients received at least one dose of opioid during the emergency department or clinic visit. Most patients receiving opioids were male (73.2 percent), and 52.0 percent were insured through a nongovernment insurance plan. In the study population, there was a decrease in the national opioid prescription rate from 60.0 to 27.8 percent from 2004 to 2017. Compared with 2004, in 2017, patients were 75 percent less likely to receive an opioid. Patients aged 13 to 17 years were more likely to receive an opioid prescription than younger patients, while black patients were less likely to receive an opioid prescription than white patients.

“The results indicate that the efforts to combat earlier exposure to opioids are having success in changing the prescribing habits of physicians in an acute care setting,” a coauthor said in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to Biomet.

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